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With so many credit card processing companies available to pick from, it can be a daunting task to find the one that is the perfect fit for your business. You want to make sure you find one that will have all the features and services you are looking for. Additionally, you want to make sure you pick a company that is solid and reputable.
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Recently, MasterCard made a quiet but significant announcement. The announcement is the company will begin charging an annual fee to businesses. Known as a merchant location fee, this isn’t something that’s being implemented by payment providers. Instead, it’s coming directly from MasterCard. Although there will inevitably be processors that mark the fee up when they pass it on to their customers, this is a fee that businesses have to deal with. The best way to minimize any negative effects from this fee is to understand exactly what it is. Understanding MasterCard’s Merchant Location Fee While the name of this fee can be a little confusing, it refers to how many locations a specific business has. In terms of pricing, the fee follows the model of assessment fees from other brands by being lower for payment facilitators than traditional acquiring institutions. A facilitator will only be on the hook for $3 annually per merchant location, while the fee for traditional acquirers is $15 per location. The significant difference between those price points is why the final cost for a processor may… Read more

When a customer is in a store and finds something they want to buy, their preferred method of payment may be swiping their debit card. If that’s the case, the business the customer is paying has to pay certain fees. Known as interchange fees, this is a payment that goes to the card-issuing bank for handling the transaction. Traditionally, this type of fee has been in the $0.44 range for every transaction. As you may have guessed, it’s a common practice for businesses to pass this fee along to their customers. The Goal of the Durbin Amendment Although most businesses understand how these fees work, the same hasn’t always been true for consumers. That’s one of the reasons legislators decided to introduce the Durbin Amendment in 2010. As part part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a big goal of this amendment was to reduce what retail stores pay per swipe. According to recent statistics, that figure has been cut in half to $0.21. The Real Impact of the Durbin Amendment At first, it may seem… Read more

A little less than two years ago, a venture capital firm made a very popular presentation with the title “mobile is eating the world.” Given the amount of time people spend on their phones every day, it’s safe to say their predictions were spot on. As people continue to rely more on mobile and these devices become more powerful, an increasing amount of commerce is taking place via mobile. That’s true for consumers buying, as well as merchants processing transactions. Between mobile and all of the other emerging technologies in the payments space, plenty of merchants feel like they’re always racing to not fall behind. Trying to stay up to date with these types of shifts brings up plenty of questions. One of those questions is if PCI compliance applies to mobile transactions. Why PCI Compliance is Important The simple answer to why PCI compliance is important is merchants of all sizes are vulnerable to hacking and other forms of fraud. We’ve written on multiple occasions about large companies experiencing major data breaches. Although it’s true that fighting fraud can… Read more

Leading up to October of last year, chip cards were a big topic of discussion throughout the United States due to the fraud liability shift that took place. Since that shift occurred, this type of card has continued to see increased usage by consumers. Although more US merchants than ever are now EMV compliant, there are still plenty of common challenges associated with chip cards. Those challenges stem from equipment issues, along with a variety of misconceptions by both merchants and consumers. Because there’s still quite a bit of misinformation floating around about chip cards, we want to use our expertise in this space to help clear up a few things: Chip Cards Are a Brand New Technology Chip cards, which are also known by their more formal name of EMV cards, are a fairly new technology for many merchants and consumers in the United States. This has lead to many people assuming that this technology hasn’t been around for long. In reality, that’s only true for the US. Not only was the original EMV standard written all the way… Read more

Although it’s not a topic that gets as much attention as many others within the processing industry, merchant accounts holds are something that every business needs to understand. If a business doesn’t understand the basics of merchant account holds, they may be completely blindsided in the event of any of their funds being held. Since that can directly interfere with cashflow, knowing why merchant account holds happen and what can be done to decrease the likelihood of a hold occurring is very beneficial for businesses of all sizes. Merchant Account Holds 101 The term merchant account hold refers to a situation where a processing bank freezes the merchant account of a business. When a merchant account hold occurs, a business won’t be able to access its account. Other effects of this situation include funds from open authorizations being held for a potentially extended period of time, an inability to process any new transactions and income not being deposited for weeks or even longer. Suspected fraud is the most common reason merchant account holds occur. There are situations where an individual… Read more